The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Steam \Steam\ (st[=e]m), n. [OE. stem, steem, vapor, flame, AS.
ste['a]m vapor, smoke, odor; akin to D. stoom steam, perhaps
originally, a pillar, or something rising like a pillar; cf.
Gr. sty`ein to erect, sty^los a pillar, and E. stand.]
1. The elastic, aeriform fluid into which water is converted
when heated to the boiling point; water in the state of
vapor; gaseous water.
[1913 Webster + PJC]
2. The mist formed by condensed vapor; visible vapor; -- so
called in popular usage.
3. Any exhalation. "A steam of rich, distilled perfumes."
Dry steam, steam which does not contain water held in
suspension mechanically; -- sometimes applied to
Exhaust steam. See under Exhaust.
High steam, or High-pressure steam, steam of which the
pressure greatly exceeds that of the atmosphere.
Low steam, or Low-pressure steam, steam of which the
pressure is less than, equal to, or not greatly above,
that of the atmosphere.
Saturated steam, steam at the temperature of the boiling
point which corresponds to its pressure; -- sometimes also
applied to wet steam.
Superheated steam, steam heated to a temperature higher
than the boiling point corresponding to its pressure. It
can not exist in contact with water, nor contain water,
and resembles a perfect gas; -- called also surcharged
steam, anhydrous steam, and steam gas.
Wet steam, steam which contains water held in suspension
mechanically; -- called also misty steam.
Note: Steam is often used adjectively, and in combination, to
denote, produced by heat, or operated by power, derived
from steam, in distinction from other sources of power;
as in steam boiler or steam-boiler, steam dredger or
steam-dredger, steam engine or steam-engine, steam
heat, steam plow or steam-plow, etc.
(a) A blower for producing a draught consisting of a jet
or jets of steam in a chimney or under a fire.
(b) A fan blower driven directly by a steam engine.
Steam boiler, a boiler for producing steam. See Boiler,
3, and Note. In the illustration, the shell a of the
boiler is partly in section, showing the tubes, or flues,
which the hot gases, from the fire beneath the boiler,
enter, after traversing the outside of the shell, and
through which the gases are led to the smoke pipe d, which
delivers them to the chimney; b is the manhole; c the
dome; e the steam pipe; f the feed and blow-off pipe; g
the safety valve; hthe water gauge.
Steam car, a car driven by steam power, or drawn by a
Steam carriage, a carriage upon wheels moved on common
roads by steam.
Steam casing. See Steam jacket, under Jacket.
Steam chest, the box or chamber from which steam is
distributed to the cylinder of a steam engine, steam pump,
etc., and which usually contains one or more valves; --
called also valve chest, and valve box. See Illust. of
Slide valve, under Slide.
Steam chimney, an annular chamber around the chimney of a
boiler furnace, for drying steam.
Steam coil, a coil of pipe, or a collection of connected
pipes, for containing steam; -- used for heating, drying,
Steam colors (Calico Printing), colors in which the
chemical reaction fixing the coloring matter in the fiber
is produced by steam.
Steam cylinder, the cylinder of a steam engine, which
contains the piston. See Illust. of Slide valve, under
Steam dome (Steam Boilers), a chamber upon the top of the
boiler, from which steam is conducted to the engine. See
Illust. of Steam boiler, above.
Steam fire engine, a fire engine consisting of a steam
boiler and engine, and pump which is driven by the engine,
combined and mounted on wheels. It is usually drawn by
horses, but is sometimes made self-propelling.
Steam fitter, a fitter of steam pipes.
Steam fitting, the act or the occupation of a steam fitter;
also, a pipe fitting for steam pipes.
Steam gas. See Superheated steam, above.
Steam gauge, an instrument for indicating the pressure of
the steam in a boiler. The mercurial steam gauge is a
bent tube partially filled with mercury, one end of which
is connected with the boiler while the other is open to
the air, so that the steam by its pressure raises the
mercury in the long limb of the tube to a height
proportioned to that pressure. A more common form,
especially for high pressures, consists of a spring
pressed upon by the steam, and connected with the pointer
of a dial. The spring may be a flattened, bent tube,
closed at one end, which the entering steam tends to
straighten, or it may be a diaphragm of elastic metal, or
a mass of confined air, etc.
Steam gun, a machine or contrivance from which projectiles
may be thrown by the elastic force of steam.
Steam hammer, a hammer for forging, which is worked
directly by steam; especially, a hammer which is guided
vertically and operated by a vertical steam cylinder
located directly over an anvil. In the variety known as
Nasmyth's, the cylinder is fixed, and the hammer is
attached to the piston rod. In that known as Condie's, the
piston is fixed, and the hammer attached to the lower end
of the cylinder.
(a) A radiator heated by steam.
(b) An apparatus consisting of a steam boiler, radiator,
piping, and fixures for warming a house by steam.
Steam jacket. See under Jacket.
Steam packet, a packet or vessel propelled by steam, and
running periodically between certain ports.
Steam pipe, any pipe for conveying steam; specifically, a
pipe through which steam is supplied to an engine.
Steam plow or Steam plough, a plow, or gang of plows,
moved by a steam engine.
Steam port, an opening for steam to pass through, as from
the steam chest into the cylinder.
Steam power, the force or energy of steam applied to
produce results; power derived from a steam engine.
Steam propeller. See Propeller.
Steam pump, a small pumping engine operated by steam. It is
Steam room (Steam Boilers), the space in the boiler above
the water level, and in the dome, which contains steam.
Steam table, a table on which are dishes heated by steam
for keeping food warm in the carving room of a hotel,
Steam trap, a self-acting device by means of which water
that accumulates in a pipe or vessel containing steam will
be discharged without permitting steam to escape.
Steam tug, a steam vessel used in towing or propelling
Steam vessel, a vessel propelled by steam; a steamboat or
steamship; a steamer.
Steam whistle, an apparatus attached to a steam boiler, as
of a locomotive, through which steam is rapidly
discharged, producing a loud whistle which serves as a
warning or a signal. The steam issues from a narrow
annular orifice around the upper edge of the lower cup or
hemisphere, striking the thin edge of the bell above it,
and producing sound in the manner of an organ pipe or a
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Valve \Valve\, n. [L. valva the leaf, fold, or valve of a door:
cf. F. valve.]
1. A door; especially, one of a pair of folding doors, or one
of the leaves of such a door.
Swift through the valves the visionary fair
Heavily closed, . . . the valves of the barn doors.
2. A lid, plug, or cover, applied to an aperture so that by
its movement, as by swinging, lifting and falling,
sliding, turning, or the like, it will open or close the
aperture to permit or prevent passage, as of a fluid.
Note: A valve may act automatically so as to be opened by the
effort of a fluid to pass in one direction, and closed
by the effort to pass in the other direction, as a
clack valve; or it may be opened or closed by hand or
by mechanism, as a screw valve, or a slide valve.
3. (Anat.) One or more membranous partitions, flaps, or
folds, which permit the passage of the contents of a
vessel or cavity in one direction, but stop or retard the
flow in the opposite direction; as, the ileocolic, mitral,
and semilunar valves.
(a) One of the pieces into which a capsule naturally
separates when it bursts.
(b) One of the two similar portions of the shell of a
(c) A small portion of certain anthers, which opens like a
trapdoor to allow the pollen to escape, as in the
5. (Zool.) One of the pieces or divisions of bivalve or
Air valve, Ball valve, Check valve, etc. See under
Air. Ball, Check, etc.
Double-beat valve, a kind of balance valve usually
consisting of a movable, open-ended, turban-shaped shell
provided with two faces of nearly equal diameters, one
above another, which rest upon two corresponding seats
when the valve is closed.
(a) A balance valve. See under Balance.
(b) A valve for permitting air, steam, water, etc., to
pass into or out of a chamber so as to establish or
maintain equal pressure within and without.
Valve chest (Mach.), a chamber in which a valve works;
especially (Steam Engine), the steam chest; -- called in
England valve box, and valve casing. See Steam
chest, under Steam.
Valve face (Mach.), that part of the surface of a valve
which comes in contact with the valve seat.
Valve gear, or Valve motion (Steam Engine), the system of
parts by which motion is given to the valve or valves for
the distribution of steam in the cylinder. For an
illustration of one form of valve gear, see Link motion.
Valve seat. (Mach.)
(a) The fixed surface on which a valve rests or against
which it presses.
(b) A part or piece on which such a surface is formed.
Valve stem (Mach.), a rod attached to a valve, for moving
Valve yoke (Mach.), a strap embracing a slide valve and
connecting it to the valve stem.